Finance took center stage at the COP27 climate talks on Wednesday, with UN experts unveiling a $120 billion list of projects that investors can use to help poor countries cut their emissions and adapt to the effects of global warming.
A $3 billion water transfer project between Lesotho and Botswana and a $10 million project to improve a public water system in Mauritius are among dozens of projects listed, including 19 in Africa.
“We can now show that there are significant investment opportunities in economies that need finance,” said Mahmoud Mohildin, one of the experts appointed by the UN, known as the United Nations’ top champions for climate change. Report.
To counter private-sector financiers’ argument that investing heavily in emerging markets is too risky, experts helping COP host governments engage businesses have compiled a list of projects that can be quickly financed.
After a year of meetings with stakeholders around the world, they released an initial list so that banks and others could evaluate the projects.
“To unlock this investment potential and turn assets into flows, we now need creative collaboration between project developers and public, private and trust-based finance,” said COP27 High-Level Champion Mohildin.
However, another report released on Tuesday called for developing countries to secure $1 trillion in external financing each year by 2030, then match that amount with their own funds, to meet the global goal of halting runaway climate change.
Securing money for low- and middle-income countries to build infrastructure, such as renewable energy plants, needed to replace fossil fuels has long been a goal of the ONU’s climate talks. But progress is slow.
“While there is a pipeline of interesting projects, they will need technical and financial support to get them to a stage where they can attract the right kind of funding,” said Nigel Topping, COP26’s High Level Champion.
“Everyone in the organization has to roll up their sleeves to make this happen,” he said.
The world’s major development banks have lent $51 billion to poor countries by 2021, with private investors contributing $13 billion, according to a recent lenders report.
World Bank President David Malpass addressed delegates Wednesday, reviewing the bank’s climate efforts and its involvement in the $8.5 billion Western Africa Partnership for Energy Transition.
At Wednesday’s event, Malpass again rejected accusations that he is a climate change denier when asked about his past comments that have been seen as downplaying climate change.
After answering a question at a New York Times event in September about whether he believed man-made emissions from burning fossil fuels, Malpass faced months of criticism from campaign groups and public figures, including former UN climate agency chief Cristiana Figueres. Fuels cause global warming. Then he said, “I don’t know either. I am not a scientist. »
While these comments made international headlines, he clarified his views in late September, stating clearly that greenhouse gas emissions were causing climate change.